Trichotillomania (Hair Pulling) Support Group

Impulsive control disorder is the inability to resist an urge, temptation, or impulse, even when it may cause negative effects to the self or to others. If you or a loved one suffers from impulsive contorl disorder, join the community to find support and share your challenges with others who know what you're going through.

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Hey guys, I need friends...

Hey everybody, I'm new here but of course like everyone else, not to trich. I started pulling when I was in 7th grade (so 11?) Right where my bangs were/supposed to be. I don't know exactly what caused this or why I started doing it but after i had pulled the bald spot was so large I had to wear a headband for most of 7th grade year. I would get nasty comments like "Why do you wear headbands everyday?" And of course the other nasty comments and stares you get for having trich. Some people even tried pulling off my headband by surprise just so they could see. I don't know if they were mainly just curious or just wanted to make fun of me some more. Then I stopped pulling there and let my hair grow back. When I came to school without the headband one day kids were sooo surprised and just stared, carefully examining my hair as if they were looking for the flaws. Of course at this point I was an outcast and definately felt like one... I kept pulling just in a less noticeable area but they eventually noticed as I subconsciously pulled out my hair right in front of them. I usually left piles of hair on the floor and once I noticed I would have to hide it quickly before anybody noticed. With carpet I wasn't as worried about it but most of my classes were white tile so it was very noticeable. A lot of the time I would just try to spread it out across the ground with my feet so it wouldn't be as noticeable and wouldn't look like all mine cause I couldn't just pick it up, because then I'd bring attention to it. One day I got asked by the teacher to go to the nurse and of course I was like why, I'm fine but she insisted. Once I got there the nurse basically asked me if u pulled out my hair, and of course I denied it and went back to class. The second spot I had started to pull was the back of my head up towards the middle ( also a spot very hard to cover). I can't remember when I had slowed down again must have been sometime during 8th grade because by freshmen year I had a full head of hair. I still pulled in school and I'm sure people noticed but it wasn't near as bad as I was doing. Then towards the end of softmore year I pulled out my eyebrows in class while taking a very hard and stressful geometry test. I went to look at the damage in a mirror(after i finished the test)I had with me and I basically had pulled out all my eyebrows. There was no way I would be able to get up and go turn in my test without people noticing.. I quickly got some mascara put it on my eyebrows, turned in my test, and quickly got out of there to try to fix in the bathroom before my next class. The rest of the year and that summer I had to draw them on until they grew back (and they grew back). I don't remember when but then I was trying to pluck them, and I over plucked. I did this several times both junior, senior year, and still am. I have recently just shaved them off because I started plucking and noticed I started over plucking so I decided to shave them off so I wouldn't keep plucking them.... What's worse is I had slowed down on my hair pulling for so long then I became pregnant and my anxiety went through the roof and now I'm pulling more than ever before. I'm worried for my unborn son and pray he doesn't have any type of disorder like this. I wouldn't wish this on my worse enemy... I don't want my trich getting in the way of me taking care or raising of my son but I'm afraid it will or worse that he sees me one day and realizes all my beauty is fake. Not just that but sees me harming myself. I'm pretty sure my husband knows what is going on but he doesn't mention or ask about it. I can understand if he's just as uncomfortable as I am about the situation. I don't know how to admit it though or put it out there. I know he will love me either way but just the though of saying it loud brings tears to my eyes because how much it scares me. I know he will never fully understand why I do this to myself. I just don't want him to be upset with me. I need friends to talk to about this with that will truly understand...I have isolated myself from pretty much everyone because I know they can try but won't be able to.

Replies

getbacktoserenity
getbacktoserenity

How I absolutely understand you. These issues are so problematic. Have you tried looking up support groups in your area? My area actually has a Trich support group at a local church. I just stumbled upon it. I would have never guessed that these issues are so common.

Individuals with impulse control disorders tend to isolate themselves. We fear being found out or criticized by others. And its not necessarily that people will right away know what we are struggling with. They might think you have some sort of physical ailment like alopecia, or even a drug problem. People notice something isnt right, so they can become inquisitive and curious. I feel as if I am not obligated to explain anything to others. Plus, they simply wont understand. The most common response is "Just stop picking". I rather bang my head against the wall than talk to another idiot.

Im a bit hesitant and scared to check out the local support group. I guess I just dont know what to expect. Not sure how fellow sufferers respond to one another when face to face with each other. Its just not something that I have experienced before because ive never known anyone else who suffered with such issues. Im mostly interested in whether they examine the hair/eyebrows/eyelashes/skin of others. I mean....how weird is that? If its just one person one on one, I can understand....but a whole group of people looking at one another and knowing that they all struggle with the same issue...a bit uncomfortable.

I do know that if I had a friend who was a picker, I would completely understand her and fully empathize with her suffering. It would be amazing to have that peace of telling someone that I feel bad going out on a particular day ( And them fully understanding without pressure and judgment ). Most of all it would be neat to openly discuss struggles and try to positively influence each other.
KeepCalm_CarryOn
KeepCalm_CarryOn

Thank you for understanding I know most people on here, if not all will understand. I need people I can go out with and do things that won't care if I have bald spots even if they are showing. We can just go out and have fun and not care about what the world thinks. I feel like if I had someone similar by my side (or several) I wouldnt care what other people think. I'd just be happy for what I have. I can't have normal friends especially normal girlfriends because you know how they are always doing their makeup with and for eachother. For us trichsters they do everything out in the open that we want to hide. Eventually they would ask you about these things (eyes, brows, and hair) and want to do them for you. So I've learned not let people close enough to me to ask or want to do my hair or makeup. Especially when people don't know or fully understand something they can be very inconsiderate and blunt. One time in class (probably my most embarrassing time in school) one of my teachers looked up and noticed and asked in front of the whole class "Are you pulling your hair out?" Everyone instantly turned and looked at me I tried to deny it but there was no denying it at that point.
getbacktoserenity
getbacktoserenity

That's a terrible experience to go through.
Yeah it's difficult to have so called normal friends. They try to figure you out in order to judge later and spread gossip. There is always talk. It's simply lack of understanding.
You are very open to the idea of acceptance and being comfortable among similar individuals. But I am not sure how social and outgoing people with these issues actually are.
KeepCalm_CarryOn
KeepCalm_CarryOn

I understand that I'm not social at all anymore and I never go out unless I have too. I feel like even if we never talk about our issues that we could just be comfortable around eachother knowing we have nothing to hide. Nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed of. I know how hard it is talking about it and with eachother we wouldnt even have to say anything to understand. To me that would be such a relief because you usually have to say so much and people still don't understand and I'm afraid never really will. My point is we could never talk about it and that will be okay, or instead of going to someone like a therapist who can only try to understand there will always be someone right there who will actually understand. Not just that but actually relate!
getbacktoserenity
getbacktoserenity

You made some valid points.
You know, I had a friend once who struggled with depression and I could relate with her because I was going through a rough patch in life. Anyway...the fact that we both had this problem didn't uphold our friendship. She ended up being a full blown narcissistic psycho with no empathy who is still to this day stalking and harassing me. So from that experience I learned that people are much more than their issues. You might
relate on one point, but it won't be enough to foster friendship. It's just an interesting observation through experience.
Empathy and kindness...I guess a sense of overall goodness is what is most important.
I was naive to think that I could open up and share my life with someone else who was struggling with the same affliction. Friendship is so much more intricate than that.
KeepCalm_CarryOn
KeepCalm_CarryOn

People can make friendship harder than it is due to their own problems, and insecurities. Yes of course you would have to share more interest than just having the same afflictions. Have you ever tried to make another friend that has had similar issues to yours beside just that one time? Things like that will scar people and they won't try again after that kind of thing happens because of past experience (s). I know how hard it is to make friends the older you get because of more insecurities, less in common, and more problems arise in your life/get busy. That's why I'm trying to now because I never had the opportunity, I kept my distance because of my disorder. My disorder has kept me from doing everything I've wanted to do in my life and with my life. I think if I had someone that had similar interests as well as the disorder it could be fun. Fun to know that when we are out and about we aren't alone. That if the bald spots become noticeable we could be like I got you fam, and fix it for them or even just tell them its showing but let them know it's okay; that whoever is looking and judging who cares cause they are not alone. Thats what matters and they would have someone right there to prove it.
getbacktoserenity
getbacktoserenity

I have moved across the country and had to start over, so making friends hasnt been on my top things to do. I am battling my own issues so mainly focusing on myself. Not too eager to make any more psycho friends. I am a bit skeptical that women can truly be friends with one another. There is always some sort of sick competition going on. In this last example the issue was deep envy to the fact that I was getting married. Envy towards my happiness and overall changes in life. It is the most disgusting feeling to be envied. The inability to have any happiness for another person is sickening. I am afraid to have new friends because my life is still in progress and might get much better financially in the upcoming years. If I make friends now (middle class friends) and then turn up at the higher socioeconomic level....those middle class friends might try to undermine and cause problems in my life. I just dont want to deal with envious friends who turn psycho. I would have to make friends who are at a similar financial level to possibly avoid those issues. I have to be very careful with who I choose to share my life with. Weird problems to have, but that's the reality of life.
KeepCalm_CarryOn
KeepCalm_CarryOn

That just proves my point right there. It's all how you look at things, because of your past experiences you sound like you have a lot of problems with making friends. Mainly because of the fact that you think they will all be psycho or turn psycho because of your success. A bit cocky, but mostly paranoid. The other issue is you thinking women can't be friends which I can understand but only to a certain extent because it's mostly stereotypical in your case. If you dont want friends that's fine sounds like you are doing and will be doing great without them. From someone who doesn't think everyone is psycho and that has made many friends who are girls that were trustworthy...Before my disorder made me give my social life up and isolate myself from people in order to protect myself. I think your main problem is trusting people, and making the wrong kind of friends...
KeepCalm_CarryOn
KeepCalm_CarryOn

I'm not here to judge but you can't speak for everyone, I do not get jealous/envious of those who are successful in life. I'm the kind of friend who is supportive and happy for their successes. I do get irritated when people get off easy on something I had to work so much harder to get. Just because of favoritism but I know things have a way of working out for the best and I let it go. I wouldn't say everything happens for a reason but I believe things work out so there's no reason to have such short term feelings such as jealousy, rage, envy, etc... They do not last and do not do any good. Certain women such as the psychos have these types of traits so maybe the next time you are looking for friends you should avoid these types of behavior and stay away lol.
getbacktoserenity
getbacktoserenity

Understandable, yet if you had trustworthy friends, why did you still choose to isolate from them? Were you doubtful of them?

I would not describe myself as cocky, actually far from it. Life is about survival so I have to protect all aspects of it. And being actively stalked, including my family getting constant phone calls asking for information about me...yeah I mean who wouldn't be "paranoid" in such a situation.

This is why when people win the lottery, they tend to lose all their friends because all those friends think you owe them something and are responsible for their life. Same with any other good fortune that can occur in life.

I know not everyone is a psycho, but it is tricky to decipher them. They don't present themselves as psychos right off the bat. Their true colors show through when you figure them out and dump their dirty a** because you know that you don't need to put up with the bs. Lol.
KeepCalm_CarryOn
KeepCalm_CarryOn

My friends are trustworthy but can never truely understand my issue. Just because people are trustworthy doesn't make them understanding. When I say friends there were only two, they found out and stayed my friend regardless. I still didn't feel comfortable around them or anybody else because I felt ashamed and embarrassed of my issue. That's why I isolated myself from everyone. Same as most trich people would do, that's why I want trich friends. They can absolutely understand. I don't have to worry about if my issue has made them uncomfortable and I don't have to feel uncomfortable about my issue because they are the same exact way. I can understand your point, but that is one person you delt/ are dealing with. Most people wouldn't go out of their way to harass, stalk, or creep on somebody. That's just too much work lol. Sounds tiring. I can also understand the lottery point of view but that's because now days the world literally revolves around money. I also wouldn't be stingy with it either if I won, so people wouldn't have to think "I owe them something" to get money from me. If they have to go out of their way to come up with a reason on how I owe them money; They must be struggling somehow. Throw them a bone lol, but my friends wouldn't be asking (hints why they are called friends). Beside that I'd help them out on what I've noticed they've been struggling with, without them saying a thing. That's a true friend. If it were reverse I wouldn't ask or treat them any different. I'd be supportive and happy for them. I believe (or would like to think) they would do and be the same for me. A lot of people don't know the definition of friend anymore, it's sad.
getbacktoserenity
getbacktoserenity

You have a very kind soul. You will eventually realize that if you throw them a bone, they will attempt to chew your head off. :\
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